The decision-making process was straightforward for the municipality of Burbach in the Siegerland, a region of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. They opted for the new Unimog U218 because it is the perfect vehicle for narrow thoroughfares and steep gradients. It also makes life easier for the driver and protects their health. The vehicle is even helping the municipality of Burbach to achieve the targets from its master plan of “100 percent climate protection” by the year 2050. In addition, this purchase also fitted their budget. The Unimog scores highly in terms of cost management and environmental compatibility, and also when it comes to handling challenging tasks. Alongside the U216, the Unimog U218 is the compact version of the new Unimog implement carrier. There are seven models in total and all meet the stringent requirements of the European emissions standard for trucks, Euro VI.
The Unimog’s compact dimensions were an important factor in the procurement decision. This is because some of the roads in the Burbach area are very narrow. With a vehicle width of 2150 mm and a 2800 mm wheelbase, that is simply not a problem for the Unimog, however. At just 12.6 m, its turning circle resembles that of a car. For Hans-Walter Kray who drives the Unimog, this makes for trouble-free operation in narrow streets. Landscaping work in parts of the village community, for example, involves steep embankments on tight bends and hills. Some of the twisting and turning lanes are only just wide enough for a snowplough. Even here, the Unimog U218 is easy to manoeuvre safely. The four-cylinder engine generates 130 kW (177 hp) from a displacement of 5132 cc.
Two of the main benefits of the Unimog come in useful when working: the transferable steering system makes it possible to steer from the near side of the cab, allowing the driver to keep a close eye on both the equipment and the roadside. The new EasyDrive system means that you can switch from a continuously variable hydrostatic transmission to driving with a manually operated transmission, without stopping. The continuously variable hydrostatic transmission is needed to operate equipment. A low noise level, sophisticated ergonomic controls – including the new multifunction steering wheel – and a good view of the road surface and equipment make it easier for the driver to do their job.
The Unimog represents good value for money and this was a common theme throughout the procurement process. New, highly efficient Euro VI engines were also an important factor. As well as being more economical than engines complying with the Euro V standard, these engines emit up to 90 percent less diesel particulate matter. The Burbach builders’ yard is systematically focused on costs and bills its services internally to the municipal administration and to external clients. Jürgen Lüling, the head of the yard, is proud that he is regularly able to show a substantial surplus in the balance sheet. His team of 22 (including two apprentices) look after no less than 260 hectares of green space, and are responsible for snow-clearing operations and other winter maintenance services, as well as all work at the cemetery. Across Burbach, there is a height difference of around 400 m, which presents a particular challenge when it snows. The new Unimog U 218 is extremely well suited to all these scenarios.